Teachers, students pay a heavy price for measly tabor refunds

On the 25th anniversary of Amendment 1, also known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, the impacts of starving highway maintenance funds, programs for the disabled, higher education systems, mental health care and rural economic development programs are plain to see.

But for sheer craven destructiveness, nothing compares with what the state’s convoluted tax limitation measures have done to public schools. Mexican fast food restaurants near me Teachers and students have borne the brunt of the tax reductions that in recent years have produced refunds to individual taxpayers in amounts so meager as to be insignificant. Healthy food in dubai For most, the refund might provide lunch for three at a fast-food joint, as long as nobody gets extravagant.

Before Colorado drank the tax-limitation hucksters’ Kool-Aid, the per-pupil expenditures for education were far from lavish.

What fast food restaurants are near me But at $232 above the national average, Colorado kept teachers’ compensation packages relatively competitive and allowed districts to maintain textbook supplies and school facilities at a reasonable level.

By 2014 — according to Great Education Colorado — the state had plummeted to the bottom quartile of state rankings for K-12 education, spending $2,000 less per pupil than the national average and leading to a system operating with outdated textbooks, primitive technology, higher student/teacher ratios in classrooms and one of the highest rates of teacher turnover in the country. Fast food restaurants that accept ebt More Perspectives on TABOR

• Tim Hoover: Break antiquated Colorado tax policy free of TABOR

• Penn Pfiffner and Douglas Bruce: After 25 years, TABOR still works for you

• Gov. Mexican food restaurants near me John Hickenlooper: Dealing with TABOR, one increment at a time

• Scott Gessler: With TABOR, Democrats hate it, conservatives love it, and Republicans get hurt

• Diane Carman: Teachers, students pay a heavy price for measly TABOR refunds

• Rep. Soul food restaurants near me Millie Hamner: Five critical state needs that TABOR hinders

• TABOR at 25: Denver Post readers weigh in on the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

“There never was a moment when we dropped off a cliff,” said Julie Cyrulik, a health education teacher at Thunder Ridge Middle School in Aurora. Chinese food restaurants near me “It’s been more like a slow erosion year after year.”

Cyrulik, who started teaching in 1980, said she sees why it’s so hard to attract talented people to education in Colorado. Food delivery des moines “Look, the unemployment rate is 3 percent so there are lots of opportunities, the real estate market is hot, the economy is booming and teachers’ pay is going down.”

As wages remain stable or increase by only 1 or 1.5 percent a year, teachers take home less and less. What fast food restaurants are open near me Cyrulik’s net pay dropped $3,500 this year because of increases in health insurance premiums.

Cyrulik’s colleague at Thunder Ridge, Denise Johnson, said the erosion in resources also has coincided with exploding expectations. Healthy food new york Teachers are charged with providing personalized education programs for large numbers of English language learners and students with special needs; class sizes have jumped to 30 students or more; childhood poverty across the state remains a stubborn problem; and the constant churn means that experienced teachers are called upon to guide and mentor waves of first-year teachers every year.

Cyrulik and Johnson both wonder what will happen to Colorado schools as their generation retires. Fast food places that accept ebt near me The average teacher’s salary in the state is $51,204 while truck drivers in Colorado average $55,683, and coal miners, whose plight is so much in the news, average over $80,000 a year.

“We’re on the lowest rung among white-collar professions,” said Cyrulik, who works three jobs to support her family.

Still, Johnson said, no matter how steep is the challenge and how modest the rewards, “I’ve always given it my all.

“I believe that public education is the foundation of our country,” Johnson said. Chinese food delivery near me open late “I’ve wanted to teach since I was 5 years old and I have very high expectations of myself and my performance.”

Johnson, who has a master’s degree plus 75 hours of additional coursework, teaches language arts and runs the program for gifted and talented students at Thunder Ridge. Open chinese restaurants near me After 41 years, she’s retiring in May.

“I’m going to miss it,” she said. How to get free food from fast food restaurants “The thing about teaching is that you don’t know whose life you’re going to touch. Fast food places open on christmas eve It’s always an honor when a parent of a former student comes to me to say, ‘We have another one coming and we can’t wait for him to have you as a teacher.’ ”

Cyrulik said if she was starting her career now, she doesn’t think she’d go into teaching. Fast food restaurants open near me “There’s so little support for teachers.”

“When a student comes back to see me five years later, or writes a note saying something I taught him made a difference in his life, well, I can live on that alone for a long, long time.”

Diane Carman is a communications consultant and a regular columnist for The Denver Post.

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